It was a Friday. My last email check of the day. My heart sank. An email from one of my favourite clients, simply with the subject name ‘Update’.
I am fortunate to have A LOT of favourite clients. This guy is near the top though. A third-generation dairy farmer, in the middle of a continually hard time. A cow inflicted injury here, a farm fire there, and rapidly increasing running costs for his business (feed, electricity, just to start).
Then there was the strangling, restrictive, supply contract to one of the largest supermarket chains, who would not budge from a below cost supply price per litre. It was only a matter of time, on these terms, of the inevitable.
The email was simple. The dairy herd had gone.
Whilst, of course, you can reply to the email. It didn’t clear my mind, and hasn’t cleared my mind, since reading it. It stuck with me, right in my heart.
But why? Our agreement with him is not one of an emotional support. We are his bookkeepers. The cold left brained number crunchers.
But is that it? No. Putting it simply. It wasn’t. I had a stern talk to myself about my client not needing MY emotional response to HIS emotional situation. Then I did what we do best. The practical stuff.
👉 We arranged a time to talk. We covered the basics:
🐮 What about the monthly payroll?
🐮 Where are the staff?
🐮 How about the VAT registration?
👉 We covered the next steps with his farm – beef cattle and organic arable farming
🐮 Will it continue under his existing company?
🐮 And the proposed timeline?
👉 I shared details of people who can help him:
🐮A referral to a local organic farmer to share ideas
🐮Another referral to a local business who has a digital marketplace for grain and cattle sales
👉 We covered what he needs to know when he takes on a 2nd employed role, outside of the farm:
🐮 How will this impact on his own tax?
🐮 What does he need to do with his tax codes when he is employed by two companies?
It doesn’t bring his herd, his livelihood back, but it did help. Us both.
His parting words? ‘Thank you. Thank you for your support’ 🧡❤️🧡
Yep, he is still definitely still near the top of my ‘favourite’ list.